Tuesday, November 21, 2023

Rare Rolex 6241 John Player Special for Sale

John Player Special

Rolex Daytona

Ultra-Rare Rolex for Sale

 By DANNY CRIVELLO           

Jake's recent article about the stainless steel Paul Newman Daytona got me thinking about how beautiful the gold models from that era were, so I thought I would share this story. The yellow-gold Rolex Daytona pictured above and below was sold at auction for the first time back in 2017. A rare reference of the Rolex Daytona Paul Newman, one of the most desirable watches in the world, sold back in November of 2017.

The 1969 Rolex was auctioned off by Pandolfini Casa d'Aste, a 90-year-old Italian auction house that mostly specializes in the sale of rare furniture. 

This model is a Rolex Daytona reference 6241 in 14kt yellow gold. This reference, which was nicknamed the John Player Special, is highly sought after, especially the 14kt version. Notice the "14k" engraved in the center picture below and the reference "6241" in the right picture.

Manufactured between 1960 and 1969, the reference 6241 has about 2,000 steel examples, but only 300 in 18kt yellow gold and less than 400 in 14kt yellow gold! On the wrist below, the actual 6241 for sale.

The watch's nickname, John Player Special, was born as a result of the John Player Special cigarette brand's sponsorship of the Lotus Formula One driven by legendary F1 champion Ayrton Senna. Even today, this car is remembered as one of the finest Formula One cars ever made for its black and gold livery that gave it a look of particular elegance.

The 6241 was designed for the American market with the Paul Newman dial. Only 400 were made in the 14kt version. Below a page, in Italian, from the auction catalog.

The 6241 for sale on Nov. 30 has a well-preserved case, perfect condition dial and original 14kt gold bracelet, according to Pandolfini Casa d'Aste. The watch was estimated to reach between 140,000 and 180,000 Euros ($165,000 to $210,000), but most Pandolfini auctions have exceeded estimates. [UPDATE: This magnificent beauty sold for 478,800 Euros, or $570,284.]